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Details on 2002 Part 3 at last!
Perhaps you all remember this-
.. that occurred after the SVP sent me a notice to stop "distributing
unpublished information" or some such legal jumbo. That's quieted me for
almost one and a half years, but no longer! Now, on this glorious date of
April 1, 2004, I shall throw off the reigns of legality and cowardice, to
post previously UNPUBLISHED details of a few talks that will surely cause
the authors' papers to be UBIQUITOUSLY REJECTED from any journal. So, from
my extensive notes...
Allain, 2002. The phylogenetic relationships of Megalosauridae within basal
tetanurine theropods (Dinosauria). JVP, 22(3) 31A.
Allain ran a phylogenetic analysis of basal tetanurines, using less than 500
OTU's and well over 5 characters. The matrix consisted of mostly 0's, 1's
and ?'s, yet manages to contain some heretofore unknown data on obscure
species. For instance, Erectopus is now known to exhibit the primitive or
derived state for at least one morphological character utilized by Allain.
The sister taxa in Allain's MPT's tend to share more character states with
each other than with more distantly related taxa, a trend that may show
itself in future analyses of tetanurines as well. Interestingly,
coelurosaurs were found to be tetanurines, while Ceratosaurus was excluded
from the clade. However, I consider his study flawed because if Ponerosteus
is added, a complete polytomy would near certainly result.
Chiappe and Ji, 2002. Enantiornithine (Aves) neonates from the Early
Cretaceous of China. JVP, 22(3) 43A.
This poster showed the remains of three juvenile enantiornithines from the
Yixian Formation of Liaoning. From the photos I took, I can offer the
following detailed description of the specimens, which is limited to data
not covered in the abstract. At least one specimen shows unambiguous
bilateral symmetry, with the presence of cranial, vertebral and/or
appendicular elements identifiable in all. The teeth, if present, are
attached to the mandibular elements. This attachment is most probably a
form of thecodonty, acrodonty or pleurodonty. Though no remains of the soft
eye itself were found, perhaps, extensive considerations of homology and the
extent phylogenetic bracket indicate such structures were originally
present, and housed in the orbit. Vertebrae, if present, numbered over
twenty, possessing processes and centra. The dorsal vertebrae are
particularly interesting, as Chiappe hypothesizes they were positioned
within the trunk area in life. Limb bones are the most elongate of any
elements present, with three major components to each limb, as well as
metapodials that were largely parallel to each other in life. Amazingly,
ontogenetic data can be garnered from the specimens, the most important of
which is that young enantiornithines were probably smaller than adults.
This may come to a shock to those ABSRDists deriving birds from Pseudis
paradoxa, and considering the small size of juvenile Maisaura, is yet
another proof birds descended from dinosaurs.
Finally, a poster that appeared too late to be included in the abstract
Ford, 2002. Evidance for a diphyletic origin of Aves (Archosauria).
"Though it has been the current dogma that enantiornithines and ornithurines
are closer to each other than either is to Archaeopteryx or any
non-pygostylous dinosaur, this can be shown to be the result of that
fallacious methodology- cladistics. Scientists utilizing cladistics must
adhere to unreasonable restraints, such as having evidence for their
hypotheses, and choosing those hypotheses with the most evidence. Such
notions serve only to stifle phylogenetic work, which is best done through
the use of the new methodology of 'weighdistics'. Using weighdistics, a
scientist can unambiguously determine the important character or characters
(never numbering more than three) in any group of taxa in order to construct
the true phylogeny. Indeed, the burden of actually finding characters can
be removed as well, if one wishes to know the phylogeny is based on a real
or imagined trend. This latter method has enabled the author to know
enantiornithines are more closely related to Archaeopteryx and some other
traditionally non-avian taxon than to ornithurines. Such emotional
negativity that is caused by the concept of monophyletic Aves is clear
evidence such a clade should be questioned. As for the so-called 'evidence'
that has been put forth to unite the pygostylous clades to the exclusion of
long-tailed taxa, this must be published again to successfully argue its
point, and the author doesn't have the time to debate such 'evidence'
anyway. Which is the best argument for implementing weighdistics- authors'
need not waste precious time considering the oppositions' counterpoints. As
a closing point, go to the zoo and check out the cats and the cat-like
animals that aren't cats! They are the the fatal flaw of cladistics."
I tried to tell the author of some characters that argue against his
topology, but they were rejected offhand because the words were not being
published as they left my mouth.